“Fifty Shades Freed” Makes $38M+ in Its Opening Weekend

'Fifty Shades Freed' (CW Theaters)

‘Fifty Shades Freed’ (CW Theaters)

“Fifty Shades Freed,” the third and last entry in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, hit theaters this past weekend. The movie took in $38.8M+ in the US for its opening weekend. It played in 3,678 theaters, averaging $10,549.21 per theater.

This opening weekend actually decreased from previous entries in the trilogy. The opening weekend of “Fifty Shades of Grey” performed 54% better, and “Fifty Shades Darker” performed 16% better than the current movie.

The gender split for this movie was a little different than the previous two films: Women comprised 75% of the audience, making it the highest ratio of male-to-female audience members for the trilogy.

Overseas, the movie made $98.1M. The movie made the highest opening day of the year in the UK, Spain and Mexico. It’s interesting to note that both of the previous films made 70% of their revenue off overseas audiences, so we’ll see if the same pattern repeats. “Fifty Shades Freed” opened in 57 overseas markets, and was #1 in 54 of those markets.

Worldwide, the entire franchise has grossed over $1.085B.

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By The Numbers: NPR Releases 2017 Staff Diversity Data

National Public Radio (NPR) Logo (NPR)

National Public Radio (NPR) Logo (NPR)

National Public Radio (NPR) has committed to inclusive hiring practices by releasing its newsroom diversity data each year. Last month, the diversity data for 2017 was released for 377 employees. All data was self-reported. I also compared these numbers to NPR’s 2016 diversity data.

Here’s the race/ethnicity breakdown:

White: 75.1%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – White: -.3%

Latino: 6.1%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Latino: .7%

Black: 8.8%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Black: .8%

Asian: 7.7%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Asian: -6.%

Two or More Reported: 2.1%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Two or More Reported: -.5%

American Indian: .3%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – American Indian: 0%

Here’s the gender split:

Male: 43.8%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Male (%): -1.1%

Female: 56.2%

Change Year-Over-Year – Female (%): +1.1%

Obviously, there are some problems here. The first problem is that the data is self-reported, so we can assume that respondents self-selected to participate. The second problem is that there is not nearly enough diversity on staff. The third problem is that progress towards more diversity is proceeding too slowly. More progress needs to be made!

#ThrowbackThursday: Alice Dunnigan, Date Unknown

Alice Dunnigan (Columbia Journalism Review Archive)

Alice Dunnigan (Columbia Journalism Review Archive)

Alice Dunnigan should be more well-known. This is not editorializing, this is just a fact. As a journalist WOC, Dunnigan pioneered many firsts. She was the first African-American woman to have press access to the White House, first African-American female member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries. Dunnigan was also the first African-American woman to travel with a presidential candidate, when she traveled with Harry S. Truman during the 1948 presidential campaign.

Dunnigan paved the way for other African-American female journalists, among them Gwen Ifill, Nikole Hannah-Jones, and Oprah Winfrey.

By The Numbers: African-American Best Director Oscar Nominees

'Moonlight,' 2016 (Collider)

‘Moonlight,’ 2016 (Collider)

Jordan Peele hit the trifecta of Oscar nominations (Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay) with his debut feature “Get Out.” (Definitely see it if you haven’t yet!!) Peele achieved this with his debut feature, making him only the third director and the first African-American director to do so.

Here are some stats on African-American nominees for the Best Director Oscar:

Estimated Number of Best Director Oscar Nominees, 1927-2017: 451

  • This number covers 90 years of the Academy Awards, with an average of 5 directors nominated per year.

Number of African-American Best Director nominees: 5

  • John Singleton for “Boyz N The Hood” (1991)
  • Lee Daniels for “Precious” (2009)
  • Steve McQueen for “12 Years a Slave” (2013)
  • Barry Jenkins for “Moonlight” (2016)
  • Jordan Peele for “Get Out” (2017)

Percentage of African-American Best Director nominees to total Best Director nominees: 1.11%

Decades with the highest number of African-American Best Director nominees:

  • 2010s: 3
  • 2000s: 1
  • 1990s: 1

African-American Best Director winners: 0

  • I want Peele to win!!

These numbers are terrible! The Academy needs to not only recognize, but reward, inclusive stories and storytellers!!

#ThrowbackThursday: John Singleton and “Boyz N The Hood,” 1991

'Boys N The Hood,' 1991 (Pinimg)

Boyz N The Hood, made by John Singleton in 1991, was the story of three friends — played by(from left) Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ice Cube – growing up in South Central Los Angeles.

The first African-American nominee for Best Director was John Singleton. Like Peele, Singleton was nominated for his debut film. Singleton’s film “Boys n the Hood” featured Ice Cube (in his acting debut), Cuba Gooding Jr. and Angela Bassett. Singleton’s nomination also made history because he was the youngest-ever nominee for Best Director, nominated at age 24.

This year, Jordan Peele hit the trifecta of Oscar nominations with “Get Out,” receiving nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Peele is only the fifth African-American director to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar.

How Common is Gestational Surrogacy?

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York (The Huffington Post)

FILE PHOTO – Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, U.S., August 28, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

Last month, reality TV personality Kim Kardashian West and her husband Kanye West announced the birth of their third child. The couple’s daughter Chicago was carried via a gestational surrogate. She was created from a fertilized egg taken from Kardashian West, and had no genetic tie to the surrogate.

How common is gestational surrogacy?

It’s not that common, but it’s difficult to nail down exact numbers. The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) reported 1.5K+ babies born from gestational surrogates in 2011, up from 1.3K+ babies born via the method in 2009. Another source reports 1.4K+ babies born via gestational surrogacy.

It’s difficult to pin down an actual number, because some cases of gestational surrogacy may not reported. It’s also difficult to tell when the sample size is so small.

As the procedure becomes more widely available, we’ll be able to see how common gestational surrogacy really is.

GLAAD Reports 11% Increase in LGBTQ Discrimination in 2017

Rainbow Flag (Sauk Valley)

Rainbow Flag (Sauk Valley)

It’s no secret that the LGBTQ community has faced discrimination throughout history. And it looked like that things were getting better (to rip from Dan Savage). But the data tells a different story.

LGBT organization GLAAD recently released the results from its Accelerating Acceptance study at the World Economic Forum. GLAAD has put out this study every year since 2014 to measure attitudes towards people who identify as LGBTQ. This year’s study polled 2.1K+ people, and found that, we’re not making progress as one might reasonably expect. We’re actually backsliding.

The study found that non-LGBTQ people have become more uncomfortable in everyday situations where they might interact with members of the LGBTQ community. Situations included “having LGBT members at my place of worship” and “seeing a same-sex couple holding hands.” The percentage of respondents reporting discomfort ticked upwards at least two percentage points year-over-year (2016 vs. 2017) in each category.

Non-LGBT people are also shying away from calling themselves allies: The term dropped 2% in preference year-over-year. “Detached supporters” (defined as non-LGBT people whose comfort level depended on the situation) gained 4% in popularity.

LGBT people also reported more discrimination in 2017, leading to an 11% increase in reported harassment from 2016. It doesn’t take a genius to draw parallels between this stat and the kind of person who currently occupies the Oval Office.

Here’s where it gets interesting: Despite the decreases in the numbers of non-LGBT people reporting being comfortable around the LGBT community, the reported support for equal rights for LGBT people held steady year-over-year at 79%.

One thing that’s unclear is the methodology used: Are these results self-reported, or were respondents selected by another method? And did people lie about supporting equal rights, but tell the truth everywhere else? I’d love to know this.

This study is very disheartening. We still have a long way to go until it truly gets better.